With less than 16 days into 2021, a new health scare is hanging over Japan, India and at least 10 countries in Europe – France, Germany, UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Sweden, Poland and Ukraine. According to the European Food Safety Authority, this is the widest bird flu outbreak in Europe since 2016, spreading rapidly across the continent. Countries like China and South Korea have imposed import restrictions on poultry products. Hungary, UK and Denmark have suspended sales of chicken and turkey outside the EU. 

In India, New Delhi has shut down poultry farms and banned restaurants and hotels from dishing up egg-based and chicken items on the menu. More than 9 states have reported bird flu cases. This comes as the country grapples with the impact of COVID-19 with the second-highest number of cases in the world. 

According to experts, migratory birds returning from Africa could have carried the virus to different continents. According to a health advisory issued by the United Kingdom National Health Service, one cannot catch the bird flu through eating fully cooked poultry or eggs.

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